‘Jail con­di­tions harm­ing my health’

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - MASEGO PANYANE masego.panyane@inl.co.za

AT HIS third court ap­pear­ance at the Le­na­sia Mag­is­trate’s Court, Oriah Mo­lapo pleaded with the mag­is­trate to grant him bail be­cause prison con­di­tions were detri­men­tal to his health.

Mo­lapo, ap­pear­ing on charges of at­tempted mur­der, ma­li­cious dam­age to prop­erty and fraud, yes­ter­day told mag­is­trate Maggie van der Merwe that other in­mates’ smok­ing and var­i­ous un­com­fort­able con­di­tions were harm­ing him.

Mo­lapo is ac­cused of at­tack­ing Nothemba Le­bepe, prin­ci­pal at Paul Mosaka Pri­mary School in Pimville, Soweto.

He ap­par­ently was an­gry with her for the fact he lost his job for fak­ing his qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

He al­legedly stabbed Le­bepe more than 10 times, an at­tack she sur­vived. He was ar­rested in Novem­ber.

In court yes­ter­day, Mo­lapo said he had in­structed his lawyer to be­gin for­mal bail ap­pli­ca­tion pro­ceed­ings. State prose­cu­tor Tumelo Maunye said the State was still in­ves­ti­gat­ing some of the charges that have re­cently been added.

Van der Merwe said the bail ap­pli­ca­tion would be heard on Jan­uary 31, with Mo­lapo re­main­ing in cus­tody till then.

Out­side the court, mem­bers of the ANC Women’s League, the South African Demo­cratic Teach­ers Union and Le­bepe’s fam­ily mem­bers protested in her sup­port, hold­ing plac­ards that read: “No bail for Paul Mosaka mon­ster”, “You are a cruel an­i­mal go stay in the zoo” and “Mo­lapo must fall”.

Le­bepe’s hus­band God­frey said she was heal­ing but still frag­ile. He added that if the fam­ily had their way, Mo­lapo’s bail would be op­posed.

“We are go­ing to fol­low the law, even though we are not happy with how things have been go­ing,” he said.

De­scrib­ing Le­bepe’s con­di­tion, he added: “Phys­i­cally, her wounds are heal­ing, al­though she is still in pain. She com­plains about be­ing in pain and hav­ing pins and nee­dles. Her right hand hasn’t healed com­pletely – she’s go­ing through physio at the mo­ment.”

He had been in touch with the Gaut­eng Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion and it had been agreed that Le­bepe was in no con­di­tion to re­turn to work at this stage.

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